Thanks to more than a trillion dollars of prospective investment - led by China’s USD 800 billion Belt and Road Initiative linking countries stretching between East Asia and Europe - the Silk Road is rising again.
The series of once-legendary pathways is now being reborn as a network of highways, railways, and airports linking 65 countries.
For travelers, this means a wealth of new destinations to explore - some sprung from deserts overnight and others that have for too long been left off tourist maps. Uzbekistan is reporting a 40 percent year-on-year rise in tourism; Baku, Azerbaijan, has also awakened from its post-Soviet slumber to rank among the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Europe and Central Asia.
The growth had been simmering for years; now it’s boiling hot.
According to Jonny Bealby, founder of luxury travel outfit Wild Frontiers, the region is also emerging in response to “people looking further and further afield to see places that are more authentic, less spoiled, and less on the beaten track.”
His company is just one of several tour operators - including Ker & Downey, Abercrombie & Kent, and Remote Lands - helping travelers realize a suddenly buzzy fantasy of traveling the Silk Road.
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